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Australia confident

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Saturday, March 02, 2013

HYDERABAD, India - Shane Watson is vice-captain of an inexperienced Australia side and he knows he'll be expected to lead the way with Michael Clarke in Saturday's second Test.

Trailing 1-0 in the four-match series against India, Australia cannot rely simply on skipper Clarke (130 and 31) and debutant Moises Henriques (68 and 81 not out) to carry the load as the only Australian players to reach 60 in either innings of the first Test in Chennai.

Watson, who has endured a lean run with the bat in the past two years, is determined to prove he's capable of playing as a specialist batsmen by scoring heavily in this series.

The 31-year-old plans to build up his bowling fitness with a view to resuming at international level as a seam-bowling allrounder in the mid-year Champions Trophy 50-over tournament in England and the Ashes series that follows.

"I feel like I have got a big innings coming," says Watson, who made 28 and 17 in Australia's eight-wicket loss in the first Test in Chennai.

"I feel in these conditions and in general I am batting as well as I ever have," added the No.4 batsman and former opener.

"I feel like I have got a few more options against spin than I did and I am confident a big score is around the corner."

Watson says the experience of playing on the dustbowl pitch in Chennai hasn't necessarily sharpened his focus on how difficult it is to bat against spin in India.

"No, not after seeing it the first day we arrived in Chennai. I expected the conditions to be very difficult and very different to what we have in Australia," Watson said.

"I knew it was going to be a huge challenge."

Watson has gone to great lengths to fine-tune his use of the batting crease in India.

"It's frustrating (to miss out on big scores) in the way that I feel I am in control of my game," he said.

"I felt in both innings as good as you can out there.

"The previous times I've played here, I've more just played from my crease and got back to the ball and waited for the ball to bounce.

"Leading up to this series, I've been working hard on trying to use my feet more, actually put pressure on the bowler for the length they are bowling instead of really sitting deep in my crease ... so they know they've got to get it exactly right, otherwise I'm going to be all over them."





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